Let’s be honest, Mondays aren’t all that fun. Getting the kids out of bed and ready for a new week can be like pulling teeth. And the third Monday of January is one of the worst. Renowned as “Blue Monday,” due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, freezing weather, and unpaid bills, the most depressing day of the year this year falls on January 20th.
But despite its somber title, Blue Monday doesn’t have to be blue! In fact, it can be yellow or pink or even a warm lilac! One easy action you can take to beat the Monday blues is to remember to give your loved ones warm hugs, especially to celebrate Hugging Day 2020.
Hugging is a comforting, universal sign of love. But it goes beyond this. Hugging can actually make us a lot healthier and happier, making it the perfect remedy for Blue Monday!
So, what are the perks of hugging? In this article, we’ll explain all the benefits a warm embrace can bring you and your family!
?? 5 Benefits of Hugging
1. Hugs Can Make you Happier
Hugging has been linked to a hormone in our body called oxytocin, commonly nicknamed the “cuddle hormone.” This hormone can have a huge effect on our mood and behavior. When we hug or cuddle someone, our oxytocin levels get a little boost, offsetting stress and leaving us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
This is especially true with mothers and their newborn babies. So the next time you embrace your little one, notice how much happier it makes you feel, and know that they’re feeling the exact same way!
2. Hugs Reduce Stress
According to one study, a good hug can continue to soothe you even after it’s over, helping you feel more relaxed throughout the day. The research proved that those who were hugged were less affected by interpersonal conflict than those who weren’t hugged.
This is because physical touch turns off the area of your brain that controls fear. This means fewer stress hormones are released and your body experiences less tension. And as we parents know, relaxation is hard to come by!
Feeling safe and cared for is extremely important, and leads to a more relaxed mindset. A win-win situation!
3. Hugs Can Keep You Strong And Healthy
Hugs can also reduce our likelihood to catch nasty germs. Hundreds of participants in a study were exposed to a common cold virus and the research found that those who felt socially supported and were hugged more showed fewer signs of illness.
This is because when we feel threatened and stressed—and we aren’t hugged—it can make our immune system overreact. But hugs make us feel safer and more cared for, calming our body down and protecting us from awful diseases.
On top of this, it has been recorded that parental affection does wonders for children’s health not only in the short-term but also for years to come. The research showed that the more warmth and affection a child received at a young age, the less likely they were to suffer from health risks decades later. It looks like hugging really is a gift that keeps on giving!
4. Hugs Can Make You Smarter
Young children need a lot of different sensory stimulation to aid in their growth and development. And physical contact, such as hugging, is one of the most important stimulations required for a healthy body and brain.
The research found that when babies received an extra 20 minutes of gentle and nurturing touch per day over the course of ten weeks, they scored higher on developmental tests. Of course, we don’t recommend replacing school with hugging, but a combination of both is the golden ticket!
5. Hugs Help You Spread The Love
Usually, we communicate verbally or through our body language and facial expressions. But why not send messages through hugs, whether in Hugging Day 2020 or any other day?
There’s no better way to express your love to someone by embracing them in a big old-fashioned bear hug. Children are known to imitate their parents’ behavior, so if you shower them with hugs, they’re likely to spread the love and in turn make the world a more caring place!
And the cherry on top is you’ll end up receiving more hugs. Everybody wins!
A Hug A Day Keeps Blue Monday Away. Celebrate Hugging Day 2020!
Clearly, there’s no better way to kickstart Blue Monday than by giving your little ones a big, loving hug and make the most out of Hugging Day 2020! Hug out the dreariness associated with the grayest day of the year, and replace it with affection and care!
Hugging is truly magical—it can have a hugely positive effect on the brain and body. Get the whole family involved and help your kids become healthier, happier, stronger, and more resilient.